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Sunday 23 February 2020


Laura Ashley issues fresh profit warning

Written by Hannah McGrath

Shares in Laura Ashley fell more than 20 per cent yesterday as the retailer issued a new profit warning to investors after a “very demanding” third quarter.

The home furnishings and fashion chain, which has 156 stores across the UK, warned in February that like-for-like retail sales were down four per cent year-on-year and reported a £1.5 million loss.

Yesterday, the board released a statement warning that full-year forecasts were likely to be “significantly below market expectations”.

The company’s share value briefly fell 20 per cent, before recovering before the close of trading.

Laura Ashley, a stalwart of the UK High Street since the 1960s, is the latest retailer to warn investors of the impact of the wider pressures afflicting brick and mortar retailers, including the shift to online shopping and rising rent and business rates.

In December, it was reported that the company was preparing to close further stores in the UK, as a part of a new strategy focussed on Asian markets and digital retail.

A spokeswoman for Laura Ashley said: “Trading conditions have been very demanding over the third quarter - the board have reviewed the revised full-year forecasts for the year ended 30 June 2019 and expect the results to be significantly below market expectations.”

The company said it will publish its full-year results on 22 August 2019.


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